World’s Best Wedding Photos Pt 2Words by Blair deLaubenfels
When it comes to finding the most epic places on earth to elope it is best to turn to top photographers who’ve seen them from every angle. From the mountain tops of China and the U.S. Rockies to the beaches of Mexico and Bora Bora, we’re giving you a peek at the most beautiful backdrops and venues anywhere, captured by some of the world’s best wedding photographers. If you’re looking for a truly unforgettable location, keep reading and be amazed by all the gorgeous places the world has to offer. And to view Part 1 – click HERE!
Diamond Beach, Iceland
On the south coast of Iceland, two hours from Vik, lies the aptly named Diamond Beach where hundreds of mini icebergs glitter and shine. A must-stop for visitors and wedding couples, temperatures here range from cool to shockingly frigid, and from October to February the Northern Lights put on an otherworldly show.
“We waited for this shoot for 30 mins to get the perfect wave hitting the iceberg,” recalls Edwin Tan. “I have to salute the strong will of this bride who stood in her bare feet under the strong wind in -10C temperature to create this photo that she loves and will never forget.”
Mt Bromo, Indonesia
Part of Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, in East Java, Indonesia, Mount Bromo is an active volcano that lies in one of the most scenic places in the country. Intrepid travelers can hike to the Caldera in 45 minutes or hike to other nearby peaks to get jaw-dropping views. Organized jeep tours are available and photographers who know the area can deliver you to the most spectacular and photogenic areas for your wedding images.
“This location is four hours from the airport of Surabaya and we had to spend a night at a nearby resort and depart from the resort at 4 am to get the perfect volcano view with the clouds surrounding it,” recalls photographer Edwin Tan. “The color of the morning light made the effort well worth it.”
Vernassa, Cinque Terre, Italy
Five romantic villages dot the Italian Riviera and each one is a gem with colorful houses, winding alleys and dramatic cliffside ocean views. The most photographed is Vernazza, where the houses descend to the beach creating an idyllic background for wedding photos. No matter which town you choose, you’ll find first-class accommodations and fresh seafood restaurants where you can raise a glass and toast your future on your wedding night and honeymoon.
“With the sun going down and the lights of the city beginning to twinkle, I asked my assistant to hold the light behind this couple while I went 300 meters away to capture the whole town,” says Edwin Tan. “It was one of the majestic places I have photographed over the years.”
Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree, CA
With views over the Coachella Valley in Southern California, Joshua Tree is a land of twisted cactus, towering rock formations, and vast desert landscapes that look like they came from out of this world. A favorite of couples who love the outdoors and warm temperatures, accommodations near the park range from simple to extravagant and officiants and planners are readily available to make your elopement stress-free.
“The couple postponed their wedding twice due to COVID, and eventually flew out to Joshua Tree, found a beautiful AirBnB, and eloped in the backyard,” says the couple’s photographer, Marissa Joy. “This photo was taken just down the road from their rented house – a quiet moment as they walk into married life together.”
“This waterfall is just outside of Hana town on the lush east side of Maui, and one of dozens along the famous road,” says Melia Sorenson of Melia Lucida Photography. “I had wanted to shoot at this lacy tall waterfall for quite some time and I knew it would be perfect for this Hawaiian bridal look with a haku or lei po’o (crown) of ferns.”
Welcome to your own waterfront home on the west side of Maui. Just minutes from the bustling and historic town of Lahaina, Olowalu Plantation, is one of the most popular venues in the Hawaiian islands for weddings because of its panoramic view, beach access and beautifully maintained ceremony site. Get married at sunset, then treat your guests to a delicious catered meal under moon and twinkling reception lights.
“This Maui wedding venue is a bit off the beaten path and away from building lights, making it ideal for taking night time photos that showcase the stars,” says Melia Sorenson of Melia Lucida Photography. “I had looked forward to getting this shot for a while and when the couple happily agreed to leave the dance floor and stargaze at the edge of the property, I grabbed a few frames and captured the Milky Way in their photo.”
Oswald West State Park, OR
Cannon Beach, Oregon, is a fun laid-back town surrounded by rugged ocean beaches. The waves crash against rocky outcroppings and the wind whips the evergreen trees along the forested coastline. The numerous photogenic backdrops make it a favorite place for photographers to find waterfalls, waves, and vistas like this one at Oswald State Park. With 5-star cuisine and numerous romantic oceanfront accommodations, Cannon Beach is a gorgeous getaway for couples who love the great outdoors.
“The Oregon Coast is truly stunning,” says Tree Woodsmith of Jos & Tree. “This particular park provides a gorgeous trail that ushers you through the forest along a stream and old-growth trees. We decided to rouge off-trail up a cliffside that looked out over the ocean. The perfect spot for a totally private ceremony with two of their closest friends and us by their side. And of course, they brought their hammock to snuggle up in. Wouldn’t you?”
Pemberton, BC Canada
From the world-renowned ski resorts at Whistler and Blackcomb to the mountain meadows surrounding Pemberton, the landscape in this part of British Columbia is bound to take your breath away. There’s almost no limit to the activities available for couples who love skiing, hiking, climbing, and cuddling up in front of a cozy fire. Take a helicopter and say “I do” on a pristine peak for a top of the world kind of wedding day.
David Buck recalls capturing this shot.“It was February and the goal was to go to the top of Mt Curry. We were briefed at the helicopter station before venturing out into the intense cold. To our amazement the temperature at the top of the mountain was significantly warmer than the valley, the sun came out and we had perfect weather. The pilot asked the couple which mountain they wanted to head to and then placed us all on top of it along with the officiant. A perfectly exhilarating day!”
Prague, Czech Republic
Few cities on earth can hold a candle to Prague when it comes to stunning parks and historic landmarks. At the glorious Prague Castle, the Garden Na Baste gives way to sweeping views of the Charles Bridge and the red roofs and patina spires of the city below. It’s just one of the many picturesque places in Prague for elopement photography.
“At the time, this part of the garden was closed but with our friendly faces on we got to shoot here anyway,” recalls Ralf Czogallik from Eppel Fotografie. “What a gorgeous lookout location and a must-visit when in Prague. You can feel the history of this gorgeous place and get taken to another time.”
The Domaine de St Germain in the Languedoc region of France is an idyllic and intimate venue for weddings up to 25 guests. There is a large stone reception room that needs no decoration, save candlelight and a huge swimming pool, sprawling gardens, and 4 charming stone cottages with kitchens of their own. What a decidedly French and delightfully private place to celebrate your marriage!
“This old converted farmhouse, hidden in the south of France and surrounded by hills and olive groves is a picture-perfect place to get married,” says Andy Gaines. “The sun sets each night across the fields from its elevated position on a hill, making the venue idyllic to take in the morning and evening.”
A cozy ski resort near Durango in southwestern Colorado, Purgatory Resort is a favorite getaway for lovers of natural beauty. The destination boasts 300 days of sunshine and never-ending views. In the summer the wildflowers lay a carpet down across the mountain meadows, and in the winter the stars sparkle off of pristine fields of snow. Dozens of hotels and hundreds of houses and cabins are for rent, and whether you leave your room to dine, dance, hike, or ski, is of course up to you.
“This photo was taken on top of the Purgatory Resort mountain,” recalls photographer, Jesse La Plante. “The couple chose the venue and specifically requested that we capture a shooting star since their nuptials were taking place during the Perseid meteor shower. We hiked a few hundred feet up the mountain from Dante’s Lodge (the ceremony location) to get away from the light pollution to capture this stellar image.”
Oia, Santorini, Greece
Couples around the world flock to Santorini for its breathtaking views and opulent accommodations where white-washed buildings, brilliant blue skies, and aqua water provide stunning views from every angle. In the town of Oia the houses and hotels are carved into the cliff face overlooking a large and sparkling caldera where five-star restaurants perch along the edges. Accommodations here can range of opulent to over the top, so come ready to surround yourself in luxury.
“Every single corner of the town of Oia is a perfect location for taking pictures,” advises Edwin Tan. “This photo was captured in front of the couple’s hotel room after breakfast with the ocean behind them. A short walk through the town and we quickly had dozens more.”
Steamboat Springs, CO
Steamboat Resort in the Northern Colorado Rockies is known for its winters with powder skiing, and its sun-drenched summers full of swimming holes and wildflowers. From November to March, take a sleigh ride to your snow-covered cabin, and from April to October, climb the mountain for a breathtaking ceremony. You’ll find a full range of accommodations to fit your style and dozens of first-class professionals ready to make your wedding easy.
“This was taken at the top of Mt. Werner above Steamboat Resort mountain,” says photographer Jesse La Plante. “The couple chose the location for their nuptials and this photograph was taken just a few hundred feet from the ceremony location on the lawn near Thunderhead Lodge.”
Chesapeake Bay, MD
Few places are more well known for summer sunsets and sailing than Chesapeake Bay in Maryland where the Tred Avon Yacht Club epitomizes the luxurious lifestyle. Home to the winners of numerous prestigious sailing races, you must know a member to plan your wedding here. Not part of that particular social circle? Never fear, there are numerous yachts and sailboats available to rent for your on-top-of-the-water wedding.
“This adventure elopement spanned over several days,” recalls Jos Woodsmith from Jos and Tree. “Their wedding day included an intimate ceremony on the docks, with the couple standing in the bride’s father’s old vintage boat and their families on an adjacent catamaran. We were gifted with a spectacular sunset and captured this moment from a “chase boat” driven by the bride's uncle who adapted to the current, wind and light allowing us to capture this perspective.”
The cities of Buda and Pest combine to create one of the most extraordinary cities in the world. From the castles on the Buda side to the warrens of shops and cocktails bars in Pest, you’ll find enchanting historic sites and hidden spaces everywhere you go. Stop by the Ruin Bars for a cocktail and stay in a luxury suite with a view of the river Danube.
“The couple fell in love with Budapest during a holiday in Hungary and had their proposal there as well,” says Tünde Koncsol. “When they found my photos, they asked me to be their photographer and organize their ceremony. I suggested Vajdahunyad Castle with its ancient walls, arches and columns to fit their stylish personalities. Wild grapes grew under the portico where they said their vows, cut off from the noise of the outside world.”
Like out of a dream, the Villa Cimbrone rises above Ravello on the Amalfi Coast casting an air of romance across one of the most majestic places on earth. With an unforgettable atmosphere and Michelin-star kitchen, the terrace views amaze while the gardens envelope guests in beauty and fragrant floral scents. Their reception rooms with arched stone gothic show off the views, while the outdoor ceremony sites are a wonder to behold. When you are looking for an authentic Italian wedding experience, we encourage you to consider this truly extraordinary property.
“This photo was captured on the stunning veranda of the Villa Cimbrone, an enchanting 12th-century hotel that sits 1200 feet over the Tyrrhenian Sea,” recalls Tree Woodsmith from Jos and Tree. “It’s only accessible by foot along a panoramic stone path from the center of Ravello.”
Waipiʻo Valley, HI
Remote and spectacular, the Waipiʻo Valley on the Big Island of Hawaii is roaring with waterfalls and dripping with island ambiance. Once the valley of Hawaiian kings it is now quite remote, requiring an adventurous couple and an enthusiastic photographer to capture its beauty. Rent a jeep if the rental company will allow it, or hire one to take you here, you’ll never forget the electric green scenery where tropical birds soar and banana trees line the roads.
“This shot was taken after a harrowing 4x4 ride down to the bottom of Waipio Valley,” says Melia Sorenson of Melia Lucida Photography. “The couple had a meticulous plan for the day and they literally brought me along for the ride to waterfalls, wild horses and black sand beaches. The valley is often shrouded in clouds from above but the mist and cloud cover make it, in my opinion, even more beautiful.”
Photos courtesy of (in order of appearance): Edwin Tan (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 12th); Marissa Joy Daly (4th); Melia Lucida (5th, 6th, 17th); Jos & Tree (7th, 14th, 16th); David & Sherry Buck (8th); Eppel Fotografie (9th); Andy Gaines (10th); Jesse La Plante (11th, 13th); Tünde Koncsol (15th)
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